They wanted 180-degree views of Puget Sound from all the living and dining areas of their 1960s Edmonds home that was a choppy maze of rooms with a bunch of walls and a monstrous rock fireplace.
They got what they wanted -- and more.
"We took all the walls down from the back of the house to the front," said Sandra Gjesdahl of Bristol Design & Construction in Lynnwood. "Everything interior wasn't bearing. Why someone put all the walls up in the first place we'll never know."
The massive fireplace was removed. An open galley kitchen utilizes the original 55-foot-long skylight that now spans the home in unobstructed splendor.
It was a six-month project for the design and building firm owned by Sandra Gjesdahl and her husband, Scott.
The home's kitchen won the firm a first-place award in Seattle Design Center's 14th annual Northwest Design Awards. The 150 entries in 14 competition categories were judged on proportion, composition, use of space, materials and design solution.
"It's a huge honor and compliment," Sandra Gjesdahl said.
The homeowners, who want to remain anonymous, lived in a back room of the house during the project that remodeled about 1,500 square feet of main floor space.
"We ate out a lot," the homeowner said.
The home, custom built on a cul-de-sac about a mile from the water, had the right bones for the project.
"We wanted to maintain that integrity. We let that drive pretty much everything," Gjesdahl said. "The goals were to embrace the original post-and-beam structure modeled after Pacific Northwest longhouse architecture that emphasizes Asian inspired pavilion style details and joinery."
The house hadn't had much updating since it was built in 1961.
Gjesdahl said the goal was to create a cohesive remodel: blending eras and respecting the original architecture while implementing spatial changes.
"They wanted an open kitchen plan that was aesthetically pleasing as well as functional," she said.
"The firm has a full woodworking shop. It enables us to create more innovative and interesting architectural details. I view all the cabinetry as furniture in this case."
Some old materials were repurposed. Those big stones from the atrocious fireplace found a new life as a garden path at friend's home. "I couldn't wait to swing the first hammer to get that fireplace out," the homeowner said.
Two smaller fireplaces were integrated into the design. Bifolding panels conceal a TV above the sitting room fireplace. The living room fireplace was clad in cold-rolled steel rising from the floor to the vaulted ceiling, notching around the rafters. The cantilevered concrete hearth adds seating.
"It put that 1960s home into the next century," Gjesdahl said.
The homeowner agrees.
"The home is now warm and very bright. It brought in this flow of space, so when have a party, people just can flow around the rooms," the homeowner said. "It's fun to get up in the morning."
Phase 2 is next: The master suite is part of the master plan.
"We did master planning for the entire home," Gjesdahl said. "A lot of people are phasing work these days. They are spending within their means instead of doing what led to the bubble bursting."
Andrea Brown; 425-339-3443; email@example.com.
Bristol Design & Construction: 2006 196th St. SW, Suite 111, Lynnwood. For more information, visit www.bristoldc.com or call 425-775-5588.
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